As a bariatric dietitian I advise heaps of patients who turn to weight loss surgery to aid them lose weight and get fitter. Rarely does a week go by when I don’t discuss with at least one patient who shares a story that is common with me. Someone in their life – it might be a spouse, friend, parent, child or co worker – feels their determination to have bariatric surgery is choosing the easy way out. That if they just really committed themselves to losing weight, they’d (and should) be in a position to do it on their own.
It presupposes that individuals who come to your determination to have bariatric surgery haven’t attempted diet and exercise before – or even worse, they only didn’t strive hard enough. It presumes that the demand to possess bariatric surgery is a terrible failing. This opinion – that bariatric surgery is the easy way out – isn’t only condescending and dismissive, but it’s wholly wrong on the basis of the current science. The reason why this reputation is so undeserved with anyone who’s interested, I say this with conviction and confidence and can happily discuss. Therefore it may surprise you to realize that once upon a time, I used to think in this way, also.
The Science Behind the Disease
We know that long term weight loss in people that have obesity is difficult to attain through diet and exercise alone. We also now know that’s really because obesity is a complex disease, made up of a composite of endocrine, neurological, genetic and lifestyle variables. Collectively they create critical biological imbalances that work against weight loss attempts as well as maintenance of a weight that is lower. Since the body sees weight loss desired weight loss, as a stressor, this sets into motion a series of events that makes maintaining lost pounds highly improbable. We eat less but feel more hungry, while with each pound lost our bodies burn fewer calories in the exact same time. Is this honest? Undoubtedly not. But it’s reality in many cases.
Bariatric processes, on the flip side, allow for reduced calorie intake in ways that are distinct. By changing the size of the belly as well as in the case of the gastric bypass the absorption of nutrients, less food ends in a feeling that is full more rapidly. This can be accompanied by changes in hormone levels which communicate together with the brain to cut back hunger and decrease desire. These changing hormones will also be considered to result in the accelerated improvements regularly seen in Type 2 diabetes and hypertension that commonly follow a bariatric procedure. In many cases, patients may no further require medications to treat these conditions in the days immediately following operation, long before any significant amount of weight has really been lost.
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